Comprehensive Support for Family Caregivers: Impact on Veteran Health Care Utilization and Costs

Courtney Harold Van Houtven, Valerie A. Smith, Karen M. Stechuchak, Megan Shepherd-Banigan, Susan Nicole Hastings, Matthew L. Maciejewski, Gilbert Darryl Wieland, Maren K. Olsen, Katherine E.M. Miller, Margaret Kabat, Jennifer Henius, Margaret Campbell-Kotler, Eugene Z. Oddone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to examine the early impact of the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) on Veteran health care utilization and costs. A pre-post cohort design including a nonequivalent control group was used to understand how Veterans’ use of Veteran Affairs health care and total health care costs changed in 6-month intervals up to 3 years after PCAFC enrollment. The control group was an inverse probability of treatment weighted sample of Veterans whose caregivers applied for, but were not accepted into, PCAFC. Veterans in PCAFC had similar acute care utilization postenrollment when compared with those in the control group, but significantly greater primary, specialty, and mental health outpatient care use at least 30, and up to 36, months postenrollment. Estimated total health care costs for PCAFC Veterans were $1,500 to $3,400 higher per 6-month interval than for control group Veterans. PCAFC may have increased Veterans’ access to care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-114
Number of pages26
JournalMedical Care Research and Review
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • emergency department
  • family caregivers
  • informal care
  • inpatient hospitalization
  • mental health outpatient care
  • primary care
  • Veterans health care utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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